Posted by Fred
on November 29, 1999 at 01:26:19:
In Reply to: Dementia and Incontinence.. any connection posted by Robin on November 25, 1999 at 03:34:33:
: My 84 year old mother suffers from constant incontinence. She is in the early stages of dementia and I would like to know if the two are somehow related.I have sought help from a urologist ( who stated bladder completely worn out) and a neurologist (who stated her brain didn't send the right signals) and to her family internist (who stated she's just old). Where do I turn for help? My mother is too embarrased to leave her home, afraid she will have an "accident", and has become almost a recluse.Does anyone have any suggestions where I can turn to for help?
I feel for you and your mother as she deals with incontinence and dementia, and for the "collateral damage" for you as to her dementia. My father has just recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, though I believe that he has been exhibiting symptoms for up to 2 years. From all that I have read on Alzheimer's and other dementias, incontinence and dementia CAN be related. In mid to later stages of dementia, incontinence is one of the exhibiting signs that appears.
Many people suffer from incontinence and your mother should not be ashamed (though I understand for her age group, that is easier said than done). There are protective under-clothing articles on the market that she may be able to use to let her get out of the house. Most of all, she needs support, care, patience and support. That's the tough part in dementia caregiving though.
Have another physician check out your mother: one who is knowlegable and experienced with elderly care & especially sensitive to patients with dementia. Maybe her regular doctors have become too familiar with her complaints; maybe another doctor might pick up on something the others missed. Study up on it yourself. Don't give up and like you have just done - DON'T be afraid to ask for help.
I wish I could be of more help, but then in caregiving, support and encouragement can be a boost to morale. Hang in there and I wish you and your mom the best.